Christmas Oats Porridge with cranberry sauce, apples and pecans

Try this delicious porridge on Christmas morning to enjoy while you’re opening your presents.


PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOK TIME: 10 mins

TOTAL TIME: 15 mins

(Serves 4)

Creamy Oats Porridge:
3 cups almond milk
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cup toasted pecans, roughly crushed 

Cranberry Sauce:
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cornstarch
cup water
Pinch cinnamon 

Caramelized Apples:
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Make the porridge: Combine the almond milk, cinnamon stick and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and, when boiling, add the oats and the brown sugar. Lower the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the desired consistency. Remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour into bowls and top with cranberry sauce, caramelized apples and toasted pecans. Serve with maple syrup on the side.

Cranberry sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens. You can add more water if necessary.

Caramelized apples: Melt the coconut butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples and sprinkle the brown sugar. Cook for a few minutes per side, until apples are crisp tender and golden brown.


Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

These delicious eggnog cinnamon rolls will spread plenty of Christmas cheer this festive season.


PREP TIME: 1 hour 35 mins

COOK TIME: 25 mins

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours

(16-18 Cinnamon Rolls)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (I like to use Red Star Platinum yeast)
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup (stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup warm eggnog
1/4 cup plain vanilla yogurt (or if you have leftover mashed potatoes lying around use those, they work great!)
1 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2- 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), very, very soft (I like to place mine in the microwave for 15 seconds until extremely softened)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional) 

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces white chocolate melted
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2-3 tablespoons eggnog
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the dough: Place yeast and sugar into a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the warm water and gently stir. Let sit until yeast has doubled and is puffed and foamy on top, about 10 minutes. To the bowl add the melted butter, warm eggnog, greek yogurt and eggs, stir to combine. Add in the flour, salt, vanilla bean seeds (if using) and vanilla extract.
Knead the dough with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and forms a ball, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and oil the boil or use cooking spray. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm area for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

To make the filling: Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to a bowl and mix well. Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter. Lightly dust a surface with flour. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 9×24 inches). Spread about 6 tablespoons of the butter (softened almost to a melted stage) evenly over the dough. Spread the brown sugar + cinnamon evenly over the butter and lightly push the brown sugar into the butter. Sprinkle on the white chocolate if using.
Starting with the long edge closest to you, pull the edge up and over the filling and carefully roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Place the dental floss (do it!! It works so well!) under the roll where you want to cut. Mine are usually about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, but varied. Take the ends of the floss in each hand and wrap them around the roll.
Keeping the ends of the floss in each hand, don’t let go and then tighten the floss so it starts to cut through the roll. Again, don’t change hands. Tighten until the floss comes out and the individual roll is separated. Place rolls in the prepared pan. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Just before baking brush the remaining butter on top of the rolls. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the melted white chocolate, cream cheese and butter and whisk until creamy and light. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the eggnog and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Spread the frosting on warm rolls. EAT!


Gingerbread Granola

What a fantastic way to start your festive day! A delicious 30-minute gingerbread granola, sweetened with molasses and tossed with cinnamon, ginger and cloves for that perfect gingerbread flavour.


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins

TOTAL TIME: 30 mins 

(Serves 10)

3 1/4 cups rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters)
1 3/4 cups raw nuts (I used almonds, pecans and a few walnuts)
3 Tbsp organic cane sugar (or sub extra molasses or maple syrup mixed in with wet ingredients)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cloves (optional)
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (sub agave, or honey if not vegan)
2 Tbsp molasses
(optional) 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla extract. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly onto a large baking sheet and bake for 18–22 minutes, stirring near the halfway point to ensure even cooking. The coconut oil will help this granola crisp up nicely, but be sure to watch it carefully as it browns quickly.
Once the granola is visibly browned (about 19 minutes for me), remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan before storing.
Keep in a container that has an air-tight seal and it should keep for a few weeks.


Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Truffles

Something sweet to celebrate the festivities. Try your hand at these delectable truffles to enjoy with family and friends.


PREP TIME: 1 hour

COOK TIME: 4 hours 30 mins

TOTAL TIME: 5 hours 30 mins

(40-45 truffles)

16 ounces (450g) semi-sweet or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped and divided1
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (100g) Nutella
2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (90g) toasted and finely chopped Diamond of California hazelnuts, divided2

Place 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Microwave in four fifteen second increments, stirring after each, for a total of 60 seconds. Stir until almost completely melted. Set aside.
Pour cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from the heat, then slowly pour over the chocolate. Gently begin stirring with a wooden spoon in one direction. Do not forcefully stir, always be gentle! Once the chocolate and cream are smooth, stir in the Nutella and butter until combined and smooth, then stir in 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts. Cover with plastic wrap pressed on the top of the mixture then allow to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. Then place in the refrigerator until it reaches “scoopable” consistency, about 4 hours.
Line a lage baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Remove mixture from the refrigerator. Measure 1 teaspoon, roll mixture in your hands into a ball as best as you can, then place on the baking sheet. The mixture will be a little sticky. Coat your palms with a little cocoa powder, which I find helps you handle the mixture. Repeat rolling the rest of the mixture.
Coat in chocolate: You can melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. (Alternatively, you can temper the chocolate.) If using the microwave: place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. I like to use a liquid measuring cup. Its depth makes it easier for dipping. Melt in 15 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth.
Dip each truffle completely into the chocolate using the spiral dipping tool or a fork.When lifting the ball out of the chocolate, remember to tap the dipping tool gently on the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place balls back onto the baking sheet after you dip each one. Drizzle with any leftover chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chocolate has completely set before serving.


Healthy Christmas Rocky Roads

Treat your friends and family this year with a batch of these Healthy Christmas Rocky Roads. They make a great snack, dessert or hot drink partner! They have raw cacao as a main ingredient which is a great antioxidant, just what you need around Christmas time.



(Serves 20)

60g of hazelnuts
60g of pistachios
100g of pecans
120g of medjool dates, stones removed
200ml of coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp of almond milk
45g of raw cacao powder
50g of dried cranberries

Toast the nuts in a pan, for 4 minutes until golden the leave to cool.
Blend the dates, coconut oil, milk, cacao together in a blender. Mix with the cooled and toasted nuts and dried cranberries
Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Slice into bars and serve.


Mincemeat and custard pies

If you love a bit of custard with your mine pies, here’s the trick.



(makes 24)

200ml of whole milk
1 vanilla pod
2 egg yolks
40g of caster sugar
2 tbsp of cornflour
500g of shortcrust pastry
250g of mincemeat

Pour the milk into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out and add to the milk. Bring gently to the boil.
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Pour the milk into the bowl whilst whisking.
Pour the custard back into the saucepan and bring gently to the boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Set the custard aside.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface until approx. 2-3mm thick. Using a cutter just larger than the hole of your shallow bun tin, cut out 24 discs.
Using a star cutter cut out 24 small stars to top the pies.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Place a disc of pastry into the bun tin and top with approximately 1 tsp of custard.
Top with 1 tsp mincemeat and then the pastry star. Repeat for the remaining pies.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.